Ex-Mayor Fabrizi keeping eye on Mayor Finch’s budget

The City Council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee held the first of three public hearings on Mayor Bill Finch’s proposed 2013-14 budget Monday night.

And who was sitting quietly in the back of the Council chambers?  Finch’s fellow Democrat and predecessor, John Fabrizi, who reluctantly left office under a bit of a cloud in 2007, though his name is usually mentioned when the next election draws near.

Fabrizi is currently director of adult education for the city’s public schools.

Fabrizi left Monday’s hearing without addressing the committee.

But outside City Hall he shared some thoughts on Finch’s plan and said he will continue monitoring the budget process.

“From what I’m reading and hearing I have a concern about this particular budget and its impact not just on the taxpayer but the city as a whole,” Fabrizi said.

The Finch administration initially claimed the budget would raise the mill rate by 2.5 mills, increasing the average tax bill by $215. But then Finch’s office ultimately upped that figure to $391, which was much closer to the Connecticut Post‘s reported estimate of $400.

“When I read the confusion with the numbers coming out of the administration and hear what’s being said, it just makes me think that harder about where this budget is going,” Fabrizi said.

For Fabrizi, public safety and economic development are major issues. He said tax hikes in particular will hurt the progress he is starting to see in the latter area.

“If you can shave off at least a mill to a mill and a half it’s much more palatable,” Fabrizi said.

Here are Fabrizi (left) and Finch back in 2011 when the former nominated the mayor for a second term.

Brian Lockhart